Since the transition from the former General Visitor Visa to the current Standard Visitor Visa, the Home Office has adopted a strict approach in granting Visit Visa applications to the UK. The main obstacle for Applicants is their ability to provide adequate evidence to demonstrate that they are in fact genuine visitors and there is a genuine intention to return to their country of residence. The success rate for Standard Visitor Visa applications is low, especially where applications have been prepared without the correct guidance. Whilst there are no statutory appeal rights for Standard Visitor Visa applications there are possible avenues to challenge an unfair refusal.
Eligibility Requirements for a Standard Visitor Visa Application
Whilst there has been a transition from the General Visitor Visa to the Standard Visitor Visa category, there have been no major changes in the requirements. However, it could be argued since the transition the Home Office has embraced a strictly objective approach in its assessment of Standard Visitor Visa applications. To meet the requirements of UK Standard Visitor Visa:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You should be able to show that you are of good character and there hold no unspent convictions.
- You must plan to visit the UK for a maximum of 6 months and leave at the end of that period (unless you are applying for a long-term Standard Visitor Visa).
- You must be able to show that you have enough money to support your stay in the UK and be able to accommodate yourself.
It is strongly recommended legal advice is sought prior to submitting a Standard Visitor Visa application. Applicants with adverse immigration history are more likely to have their applications scrutinised by a Home Office Entry Clearance Officer. Notably, it is important to be aware that the more refusals Applicants have to their name the more likely it is that their application will be refused on the grounds of genuineness.
Meeting the Genuine Visitor and Genuine Intention to Return in your Standard Visitor Visa Application
The main obstacle many Applicants face is overcoming the Genuine Visitor and Genuine Intention to return requirement required under paragraph V 4.2 of the Immigration Rules Appendix V Visitor Rules. The Home Office has published Policy Guidance on what information they will consider but have not provided specific guidance on how to meet this requirement. The main issues the Home Office are likely to assess when assessing the Genuine Visitor and Genuine Intention to return requirement are noted below:
- Previous immigration history and purpose of visit;
- Links to the country of residence especially long-term connections; and
- Lack of links to the UK, an Applicants ties and connections to the UK should not outweigh personal ties and connections to their country of residence. It is important Applicants are able to show significant family and economic ties to their country of residence.
In recent times the Home Office has started to examine supporting documents in greater detail and has been more objective in assessing the genuineness of application. When assessing supporting documents the Home Office will be looking for discrepancies within the documents and potential issues with credibility. This is why it is imperative that your application is prepared by a specialist immigration solicitor. The bigger issue for Applicants is that once you provide a document to the Home Office it will be copied and retained on their system and could be referred to in future applications.
Our solicitors and barristers have a proven method of submitting successful UK Standard Visitor Visa applications to the UKVI and are proud of our very high success rate with UK visa applications.
Challenging an unfair refusal of your Standard Visitor Visa Application
There is no Statutory Right of Appeal for Standard Visitor Visa applications but this does not mean an unfair and unreasonable decision cannot be challenged. In some circumstances, a refusal may be appealed on the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) but this is very rare. The main remedy for an unfair or erroneous refusal is a Judicial Review Application. Judicial Review applications are costly and complex, therefore, it is recommended that a specialist Immigration Solicitor and Barrister are instructed to prepare the Judicial Review Application. Applicants could face cost consequences if they submit a Judicial Review Application which lacks in merit.
Using Legal Representation to submit a Standard Visitor Visa Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Standard Visitor Visa application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Standard Visitor Visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Standard Visitor Visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Standard Visitor Visa Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Standard Visitor Visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your Standard Visitor Visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful Standard Visitor Visa application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.